Framebridge opening this fall

Framebridge is opening a Southport Corridor location at 3453 N. Southport, but what exactly is it? Here are the details on Southport’s newest chain store:

Framebridge initially began as an e-commerce, online-only company, but started expanding to brick and mortar locations in 2019.

From Forbes:

I Tried Framebridge, The Internet’s Favorite Custom Framing Service—Here’s My Honest Review

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t framed a picture in years. All my memories are tucked away in a cloud somewhere, and if I were to ever lose access to said cloud, I would be left with zero visual reminders of holidays, family moments or that precious afternoon I spent with my little niece who’s not that little anymore. While taking high-quality photos has never been easier thanks to our smartphones, for many of us these precious memories end up languishing in our camera rolls or getting lost in our Instagram feeds. Why? Custom framing can be complicated and costly. That’s where Framebridge steps in.

The direct-to-consumer online framing service brand is geared towards eliminating all the hassles and the unnecessary costs that come with traditional custom framing, giving customers the opportunity to finally see that favorite family photo or artwork up on their wall. Plus, unlike cheaper frames that tend to chip easily or have a plastic glazing, Framebridge offers a higher-quality, made-to-order product with a protective acrylic glazing that’s more attractive and durable. It’s the kind of product that’s meant to last you for years to come. But is Framebridge really much better than popping into your neighborhood custom framing store, or buying cheaper frames from stores like IKEA? We decided to find out.

How Framebridge Works

Framebridge makes the process of custom framing art and pictures incredibly easy from start to finish. (For reference, I did the entire process on my phone while watching a TV show in the background!)

Framebridge offers seven types of framing options: digital uploadsart, prints and photographsdocuments and items on papertextiles and jerseysobjects and items with depthpre-set gallery wall options and quick ship gifts. Once you decide on your framing category, the next step is dragging and dropping your images into a virtual frame. Or if that’s not doable, simply choose the sample art option, and Framebridge will automatically add in a placeholder image. Next, choose your width and height (you can go as big as 32 by 40 inches or as small as 4 by 4 inches), and then the fun begins—deciding on a frame and mat style!

I have to admit, this was my favorite part of the process. For starters, Framebridge offers 55 frame styles, nine mat options (including a custom mat option) and 18 mat colors to choose from. While this might sound overwhelming, it’s at this juncture of the process where you can really create a custom frame that’s unique to you. Best of all, at every step of the process, Framebridge helpfully lists out the price at the top of the page so you’re aware of just how much you’re going to spend.

The Framebridge Experience

Once you hit checkout, Framebridge takes over. First, they send you a flat cardboard box or tube (you choose during checkout) with all the essentials needed to safely pack your art: a thin plastic sleeve, a sheet of paper where you can add notes for the framing team, a return label and even packaging tape to seal up your box. I was slightly nervous sending my delicate art in a cardboard box, but Framebridge further layers the box with cardboard sheets for added protection.

Once my art was in the mail, the next step was waiting for it to return framed. The process usually takes 10-12 days, and Framebridge keeps you posted with email updates so you know exactly where your art is at any give point.

I was notified that my package was out for delivery 10 days later, and that evening it arrived at my doorstep carefully packed along with hanging equipment.

The end result? Stunning! You can tell that the folks at Framebridge take pride in the art of framing. According to the company, each piece goes through the hands of at least nine people before it’s shipped back to you, with a designated designer watching your frame from start to finish. Moreover, everything is made-to-order and cut just for your specific frame, and that attention to detail shines through in the end result.

Is Framebridge Worth It?

Prices start as low as $39 and can go up to $350 depending on the frame size and customizations you opt for. Framebridge also offers a gallery wall set, and depending on the gallery size, layout and style, custom frame sets can range from $149 to $1090.

While Framebridge’s services aren’t cheap by any means—especially if you plan on framing more than one piece of art—it’s still more affordable than traditional custom framing. Plus, Framebridge will frame just about anything: from digital photos to that print you’ve been holding onto from college to canvas art to love letters written on thin tissue paper to even beloved 3D objects like the key to your first home.

But most importantly, you’re in complete control every step of the way. For instance, I avoided stepping into a custom framing shop for years simply because of the surprise sticker shock. With Framebridge, the pricing is transparent from the minute you start the process. The company also offers impeccable customer service that’s willing to make things right if you’re not happy with your end product.

Final Thoughts

There are several companies like Framebridge offering similar services, but Framebridge is one of the O.G. brands to start the online custom framing business model. And since their launch in 2014, the brand has perfected the art of framing to make it as seamless, convenient and cost-effective as possible. Plus, they’re constantly adding fresh new colors and frame styles, mat options and add-ons like personalized brass plates and story pockets to include keepsakes. So if you have a picture or piece of art you want to showcase for posterity, or are looking for a thoughtful gift for a loved one, Framebridge is the way to go.

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